Expo size, attendance and booth sizes all increased at this year’s NACS Show.
Attendance for the 2014 NACS Show increased 6.1% to reach 23,624 attendees, with 9,176 classified as buyers (retailers, grocery wholesalers and distributors).
Both totals, which include Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) buyer registration, are the second-highest figures ever recorded for the NACS Show. Attendees from 60 countries were at the NACS Show, with total international attendance reaching 2,465 delegates.
The 2014 NACS Show, which took place Oct. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, also featured a record-setting 403,000 net-square-foot expo, ranking it among the top 50 trade shows in the country, according to Trade Show News Network.
The size of the NACS Show expo increased 2% over 2013, with 1,114 exhibiting companies—of which 134 companies were new to the NACS Show. Exhibiting companies increased their booth footprint size over last year by an average of 10%. Extending the value of the expo to both retailers and suppliers, the popular Cool New Products Preview Room featured 290 products and services. More than 1,800 visitors to the Preview Room averaged 19 product scans per person and set a new NACS Show record of 34,260 total product scans.
In addition, the NACS Show featured three days of general sessions, 69 educational sessions and four independent operator-training sessions. The educational sessions drew 12,400 attendees, averaging 175 attendees per session—the most ever recorded. Reflecting the growing international scope of the NACS Show, the general sessions were translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select educational sessions were translated into Portuguese and Spanish.
New this year to the NACS Show, Technology Edge provided retailer technology professionals with a more robust educational track, offering 12 new sessions including four facilitated discussions with a deep dive on topics from mobile commerce to IT security. More than 250 retailers participated in these new technology educational sessions.
“The impressive number of retailers who attended this year’s NACS Show proves to me that our industry is committed to developing world-class operations that exceed consumer expectations, improve store efficiencies and deliver new and exciting products to our customers,” said NACS Chairman Steve Loehr. “The NACS Show is truly is an essential event for everyone in our industry, whether you are part of a one-store company or one with 1,000 stores.”
Also during the NACS Show, the Partnership for a Healthier America announced that Sheetz has made a two-year commitment to deliver more nutritious options across its 475 convenience stores, joining Kwik Trip, which had also made the same commitment earlier this year. The Marine Corps Exchange was also recognized for making a similar commitment to enhancing its healthy options at its 123 convenience stores.
At the conclusion of the NACS Show, more than 59 tons of leftover product from exhibitors was donated to the Three Square Food Bank, which provides food to Southern Nevada residents in need.
The NACS Show is also a business meeting. At the conclusion of the event, Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip, was named the association’s 2014-15 chairman. Loehr also chairs the NACS Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and financial oversight to the association.
Also named to the NACS Executive Committee were the following NACS retail members:
Vice Chairman-Treasurer: Jack Kofdarali, president at Corona, California-based J&T Management Inc.;
Vice Chairman, Legislative: Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO at Rockland, Massachusetts-based Tedeschi Food Shops;
Vice Chairman, Convention: Wendy Chronister, CEO of Chronister Oil Company (Qik-n-EZ)
Vice Chairman, Research: Joe Sheetz, president and CEO at Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc.;
Vice Chairman, Member Services: Rahim Budhwani, CEO at Hoover, Alabama-based 6040 LLC;
Vice Chairman, International: Frank Gleeson, managing director of Dublin, Ireland-based, Aramark Ireland; and
Vice Chairman: Tony Kenney, president, at Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC
NACS also named four new members to its Board of Directors:
Anthony Bartys, senior vice president and COO of CST Brands Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
Anderson Jones, president and CEO of Sprint Food Stores Inc. (Augusta, Georgia)
Kyle McKeen, president and CEO of Alon Brands Inc. (Dallas, Texas)
Donald Rhoads, president and CEO of The Convenience Group LLC (Vancouver, Washington)
Stephen Christopher Spinks, CEO of The Spinx Company Inc. (Greenville, South Carolina)
On the supplier side, Joe Vonder Haar, managing partner of iSEE Store Innovations Inc., was named 2014-15 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board. In addition, Kevin Martello, vice president of convenience, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, was named chairman-elect.
The 2015 NACS Show will take place Oct.11-14 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.